Mario R. Capecchi, Ph.D.
National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists
Dr. Mario Capecchi currently serves as Science Director to the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. Dr. Capecchi, a biophysicist, is a Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
He is best known for his groundbreaking work in gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem cells. He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies, for their work in finding ways to manipulate the mammalian genome by inserting new genes into cells.
This research led to the breeding of “knock-out mice” and “knock-in mice,” animals with a single gene removed or inserted. Dr. Capecchi’s knock-out mice allow scientists complete freedom regarding how to manipulate the DNA sequences in the genome of living mice. His research interests include analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, gene therapy, and production of murine models of human genetic diseases.
Dr. Capecchi’s current research at the Capecchi Lab at the University of Utah School of Medicine is on modeling certain neuro and psychiatric disorders and pediatric cancers to measure and ultimately develop human therapies.
John C. Mather, Ph.D.
National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists
Dr. Mather currently serves as Science Director of the Academy.
Winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, Dr. Mather studied cosmic microwave background radiation and received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California.
As a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, Dr. Mather led a team to propose the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite mission to study cosmic microwave background radiation. This work, for which he won a Nobel Prize, helped cement the Big Bang theory of the universe. According to the Nobel Prize committee, “the COBE project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science.”
Dr. Mather has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.
In 2007, Mather was listed among Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in The World. In October, 2012, he was listed again by Time magazine in a special issue on New Space Discoveries as one of 25 most influential people in space.